Phew! New Year's, the last of our three big holiday hurdles. Frankly, I’m partied out, and feeling about as stuffed as a Thanksgiving turkey. So tonight, Charlie and me are taking a time out, doin’ a quiet evenin’ at home. I’m gonna broil a couple of steaks, whip up some twice-baked potatoes (with blue cheese and bacon, of course) and maple-glazed carrots. For dessert, I’ve made one of Charlie’s favorites: cream puffs with chocolate icing. Don’t tell him. It’s a surprise!
For post dinner recreation, we plan on kickin’ back in our Barcalounger love seat with Scamp between us, watchin’ “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve With Ryan Seacrest.” Yes, that mouth-full is what they’re callin’ it. There’s a two-hour tribute to Dick Clark this year. It’ll be fun to see some of the ol’ American Bandstand stuff. Charlie and me grew up with that show, and I’m lookin’ forward to taking a stroll down memory lane.
I guess the headliner’s that young gal, Taylor Swift, the one who’s always datin’ a different guy, then breakin’ up with him so she can have somethin’ to write a song about! Pretty with a nice voice, though.
Anyhoo, Charlie and me are hopin’ to stay awake ‘til the ball drops. We’re both takin’ a long nap this afternoon as a precaution, but that’s no guarantee. Yes, we’re livin’ la vida loca here in Mahoosuc Mills!
Tomorrow, we’re havin’ our annual New Year's Day brunch at Celeste and Bud’s. It’s always a low key affair, with the Women Who Run With the Moose and their husbands: Celeste and Bud, Rita and Smitty, Betty and Pat, Dot and Tommy, Shirley and Junior, and Charlie and me. Celeste serves a mean cheese fondue, and all of us pound down Jell-O shots and play Strip Twister. Just kiddin’!
What usually happens is the guys go downstairs and shoot pool, while us gals sit around commiserating about how much weight we’ve gained over the holidays, how startin’ tomorrow, it’s back to the straight and narrow, all while we feast on ham, egg soufflé, sweet breads and ambrosia salad. Followed by more commiseratin’ and then back for seconds from the dessert buffet. You know, doin’ our part so there’s not a lot of leftovers, so we can start the new year off on the right foot. After that, another round of “I can’t believe I ate the whole thing.”
And of course, while we’re agonizing about our waistlines, all we’re hearin’ from downstairs is a lot of hootin’ and hollerin’. Where’s the justice? Seriously, it’s great to hang out with old friends and about the best way I know to kick off the New Year.
Now January second, that’s just about my favorite day of the year. (I have this in my book, but it’s worth repeating here.) I always try to take it off from work, as a recharging day. I wake up with that delicious feeling of starting fresh, like I used to get as a kid after going to confession. My goal for that day is to make a list of all the things I’m grateful for.
Sure, I keep a gratitude journal, just like Oprah, all year ‘round. I write down at least five things I’m grateful for every day. But on January second, I make a big list with as many things as I can think of. I work on it off and on all day. When I’m finished, I take that list, put it in an envelope, and write on the outside, “To be opened in case of an emergency. Love, Ida.”
Then I go into my craft room and tack it up on my bulletin board, in place of last year’s list. I always read last year’s list to see how I’m doing on the gratitude front, making sure I didn’t forget anything on my new list. Then I retire the old one to my gratitude file. I got lists going back about ten years, I think. That’s a lot of gratitude! Just seeing that envelope on my bulletin board perks me up. It’s comforting knowin’ it’s there. If I’m running low on gratitude and need a little reenergizing, I know I can go into the craft room, read my list, and top off the tank.
Here’s wishing you and yours a new year full of love, laughter and a bucket load of good times. Catch you on the flip side!